Bullock v. Wasco State Prison Medical

Filing 37

ORDER denying 35 Motion to Appoint Counsel and 36 Request for Initial Disclosures signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 1/17/2017. (Lundstrom, T)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 GORDON BULLOCK, 12 13 Plaintiff, vs. 14 Defendants. ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL AND REQUEST FOR INITIAL DISCLOSURES BROCK SNEELA, et al. 15 Case No. 1:14-cv-00092-EPG-PC (ECF Nos. 35, 36) 16 17 18 Plaintiff Gordon Bullock is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this action 19 alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On January 12, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion for the 20 appointment of counsel. (ECF No. 35.) On the same date, Plaintiff also filed a request for initial 21 disclosures. (ECF No. 36.) The Request appears to be a letter addressed to defense counsel and 22 attaches documents that Plaintiff wishes to disclose to Defendants. The Request does not ask 23 that the Court take any action and appears to be discovery correspondence between the parties. 24 To the extent it is requesting the Court to compel discovery, the request is DENIED as 25 premature. The Courts must comply with the order requiring initial disclosures as set forth in 26 the Court’s December 13, 2016 order (ECF No. 34) but no further discovery is permitted at this 27 time. The Court will allow for general discovery following the scheduling conference set for 28 April 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm. 1 1 Plaintiff is further advised that he should not file discovery documents with the Court 2 unless there is a hearing or other proceeding in which the discovery is at issue. See Local Rules 3 250.1, 250.2, 250.3. As to Plaintiff’s request for appointment of counsel, Plaintiff does not have a 4 5 constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 6 (9th Cir. 1997), and the Court cannot require an attorney to represent Plaintiff pursuant to 28 7 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(1). Mallard v. United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 8 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). However, in certain exceptional circumstances the Court may 9 request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to section 1915(e)(1). Rand, 113 F.3d at 10 1525. The Court thus construes Plaintiff’s motion as a motion to request the voluntary 11 assistance of counsel. 12 Without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the Court will seek 13 volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases. In determining whether 14 Aexceptional circumstances exist, the district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success 15 of the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the 16 complexity of the legal issues involved.@ Id. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). 17 Plaintiff argues that exceptional circumstances exist because he is currently incarcerated 18 and thus has limited ability to litigate. He also that he is proceeding in forma pauperis and thus 19 cannot afford an attorney. Plaintiff’s case does not demonstrate the exceptional circumstances required for the 20 21 appointment of counsel. The Court oversees dozens of cases involving incarcerated individuals 22 proceeding in forma pauperis and Plaintiff’s claims are no more complex than any other claim 23 brought by an incarcerated plaintiff. 24 \\\ 25 \\\ 26 \\\ 27 \\\ 28 \\\ 2 1 2 Plaintiff=s motion to request the voluntary assistance of counsel (ECF No. 35) is DENIED. 3 4 5 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: January 17, 2017 /s/ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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